Premier Mkhize says he will deliver on govt's promises

2009-06-19 00:00

DELIVERING his first State of the Province address in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature yesterday, Premier Zweli Mkhize adopted the tone of a government ready to deliver.

He committed his government to rooting out corruption, fighting crime, finding solutions to prevent job losses, improving health and education and alleviating poverty through rural development.

Mkhize condemned crime and corruption. He said KwaZulu-Natal will be in the forefront of the fight against crime and corruption and the government will give all necessary support to create an environment where police are able to effectively investigate and make arrests.

“As provincial government, we fully support all the strategies and measures announced by [President Jacob Zuma] on the fight against crime and corruption.”

Hinting at measures to improve the state of the Health Department, Mkhize said there will be no over-expenditure by any government department. “To ensure the turnaround of this department, a few basic steps need to be taken. The revitalisation of the health institutions is fundamental,” he said.

He said that over the past few years, health indicators have deteriorated, contrary to expected trends of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Infant, child and maternal mortality rates continue to increase, and HIV and Aids is still spreading, and these need to be reversed.

Education, said Mkhize, faces huge backlogs. Based on the 2007 National Education Infrastructure Management System data, the province is short of 10 898 ordinary classrooms, 11 525 specialist classrooms, 4 000 grade R classrooms, 3 348 computer rooms, 3 315 media centres, 14 000 school administration offices and 30 028 toilets.

He said the construction of 8 750 classrooms and 15 000 toilets will begin this year.

“We call upon community leaders, parents, teachers and learners to work together to bring back the culture of learning and teaching. Teachers must always be in class, on time … and refrain from unsavoury relations with learners entrusted to their care.”

To ensure food security, the premier said, vulnerable communities will be helped first. He said an inter-departmental task team on food security has been assembled and an integrated plan drawn up.

“To start this project, we will be launching a one-home, one-garden campaign to mark our focus on food security. Food parcels will be used as a temporary measure.

The campaign will be launched on July 18, Mandela Day.

Mkhize sid his government will partner with small-scale farmers and work with the national government to reduce obstacles in the land restitution process.

He closed his address with a promise that his government will support the strengthening of co-operative government and build relationships and partnerships with municipalities to help them to deliver services faster and efficiently. The state of municipal finances will be examined.

He said the Royal Household will be re-organised to resolve management issues associated with it, which in the past have attracted negative publicity.

 

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